After weeks of strong opposition to a proposed quarry on the outskirts of Opelika, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management announced Friday that a public hearing will take place on March 31 in the Opelika Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m.
The quarry is slated for an area 0.6 miles from the intersection of Lee County Road 168 and U.S. Highway 43, which is right on the outskirts of Opelika.
ADEM stated in a notice for the public hearing that the department "received sufficient requests to warrant a public hearing." ADEM is also extending the public comment period until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
"After consideration of all oral and written comments and consideration of [all environmental regulations and requirements], the Department will make a final determination," ADEM stated in its notice.
Creekwood Resources applied for an Air Permit, which would authorize the construction and operation of a granite crushing, screening and conveying operation, according to a statement by the City of Opelika.
Creekwood Resources also applied for insurance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, which regulates sources that could discharge pollutants to water sources.
Creekwood Resources previously provided the following statement to The Plainsman after ignoring a request for an interview:
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"Creekwood Resources is committed to becoming a good neighbor and corporate citizen. We understand there are concerns, and we welcome the opportunity to address each. There are myths being generated concerning potentially harmful impacts, and we respectfully want to provide information on the facts."
Residents' concerns range from potential pollution to the air and water in Opelika and Lee County, to Storybook Farms, a non-profit, being forced to shut down, according to founder Dena Little.
Many sent letters to ADEM asking for a public hearing and for a chance to have their concerns heard. The City of Opelika went as far as providing template letters for residents to send.
Now that a public hearing has been scheduled, ADEM said residents can make oral and written arguments on the date, or they can write comments and mail it to the department ahead of time.
Click here to see the full notice of the public hearing from ADEM.
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